How much coffee is too much coffee? Caffeine overdoses happen

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - We all know that person who can go cup after cup of coffee but the Cleveland Clinic is warning there can be such a thing as too much.

It's not the coffee of course, it's the caffeine.

In a recent article Dr. Baruch Fertel warns the side effects from too much caffeine can be pretty serious.

"Daily doses of up to 400 milligrams per day appear to be harmless," according to the Cleveland Clinic article on caffeine.

That's great news because the average cup of coffee can have around 200 milligrams.

So if you are a two cup a day kind of person you should be fine.

The problems can start when you get too much past that second cup and hit the 480 milligrams level but according to Julia Zumpano, an RD, LD in the Clinic's Heart & Vascular Institute, that number can vary from person to person.

"More serious adverse neurologic and cardiac effects occur when too much caffeine is consumed, and have led to death," according to the article.

For those who seem to drink endless amounts of coffee, there's a reason for that.

According to Zumpano, "You can become conditioned to tolerate more caffeine; however, it can be harmful for people with the following conditions:

  • Arrhythmias (heart rhythm disturbances)
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Cardiac ischemia (narrowing of the heart’s arteries)
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolisis)
  • Migraines
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Loose stools
  • Jittery
  • Heart burn

Zumpano also warns that just because your body has become conditioned it is not healthy to drink cup after cup.

"No this is not safe. Typically, this can lead to dehydration because coffee is a diuretic, and causes you to get rid of fluid, which is often not replaced with water. For every cup of coffee, you need an addition cup of water to rehydrate."

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